Abridge Zola Theme

Abridge is a fast and lightweight Zola theme using semantic html, only ~6kb css before the svg icons and syntax highlighting css, no mandatory JS*, and perfect Lighthouse and Observatory scores.

There is also Abridge-minimal Theme which is used to showcase the abridge.css framework

Maintenance of this project is made possible by all the contributors and sponsors. If you'd like to sponsor this project and have your avatar or company logo appear below click here. ๐Ÿ’–

View demo


This theme requires version 0.16.0 or later of Zola

Quick Start

git clone https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git
cd abridge
zola serve
# open in the browser


The Quick Start shows how to run the theme directly as a site. Next we will use abridge as a theme to a NEW site.

Step 1: Create a new zola site

zola init mysite

Step 2: Install abridge

Download this theme to your themes directory:

cd mysite/themes
git clone https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git

Or install as a submodule:

cd mysite
git init  # if your project is a git repository already, ignore this command
git submodule add https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git themes/abridge

Step 3: Configuration

Copy the config.toml from the theme directory to your project's root directory: (This will give you a base configuration with all config values used) If you plan to use the search_facade feature (dynamic ondemand loading of search) then also copy the package.json (and netlify.toml if you use netlify) You will also want to copy the content/static folder if you intend to use stork or tinysearch

cp themes/abridge/config.toml config.toml
cp themes/abridge/package.json package.json
cp themes/abridge/netlify.toml netlify.toml
cp -r themes/abridge/content/static content/

Uncomment the theme line:

sed -i 's/^#theme = "abridge"/theme = "abridge"/' config.toml

Step 4: Add new content

You can copy the content from the theme directory to your project:

cp -r themes/abridge/content .

You can modify or add new posts in the content directory as needed.

Step 5: Run the project

Just run zola serve in the root path of the project:

zola serve

Zola will start the development web server making your site accessible by default at Saved changes will live reload in the browser.

IMPORTANT! by default abridge dynamically loads the js related to the search when the search box is clicked, this allows for a faster page load and saved bandwidth. (not everyone needs or will use the search!)

This feature uses a bundle that has all js related to the search in a single js file, this ensures that the files are in the proper order, and that once downloaded the search is ready to use.

to generate this file you have to do this:

zola build
npm run abridge
zola build # or zola serve

or if testing/running the theme directly:

zola build
npm run abridge-demo
zola build # or zola serve

I completely understand that this makes configuration a bit complicated. Zola does not have any built-in facilities for bundling javascript so we are using uglifyjs, shasum, openssl, etc (all defined in package.json) If you find this too difficult then I highly suggest just disabling the facade and loading the search index with the rest of the page:

You can disable the facade (dynamic loading of search) in the config.toml:

js_search_facade = false

The Abridge demo uses netlify, and the included package.json and netlify.toml files handle this extra bundle step for us automatically.

An overview of this logic is this:

zola build # just to generate search_index.en.js
uglifyjs to create search_bundle.min.js # all search related files
update sha256 hash and base64 encoded sha384 hash in search_facade.js file for cachebust and subresource integrity
uglifyjs to create abridge-bundle.min.js to include search_facade.js with the new hashes.
zola build to update the hashes for abridge-bundle.min.js

If you plan to use the included netlify.toml file you should change the following:

command = "zola build && npm run abridge-demo && zola build"

to this:

command = "zola build && npm run abridge && zola build"

Step 7: Switch Search library (optional)

Abridge by default uses elasticlunr for the search library (zola's default), but both tinysearch and stork are supported search libraries.

Switch to tinysearch:

First you have to install tinysearch so that you can build the index:

git clone https://github.com/tinysearch/tinysearch
cd tinysearch
cargo build --release
sudo cp ./target/release/tinysearch /usr/local/bin/tinysearch
exit # reload shell environment

Switch abridge to tinysearch:

cd ~/.dev/abridge
sed -i 's/^search_library =.*/search_library = "tinysearch"/' config.toml
zola build
tinysearch --optimize --path static public/data_tinysearch/index.html
# zola serve

Switch to stork:

First you have to install stork so that you can build the index:

git clone https://github.com/jameslittle230/stork
cd stork
cargo build --release
sudo cp ./target/release/stork /usr/local/bin/stork
exit # reload shell environment

Switch abridge to stork:

cd ~/.dev/abridge
sed -i 's/^search_library =.*/search_library = "stork"/' config.toml
zola build
stork build --input public/data_stork/index.html --output static/stork.st
# zola serve

Switch back to elasticlunr:

abridge as a theme:

cd ~/.dev/abridge
sed -i 's/^search_library =.*/search_library = false/' config.toml
zola build
npm run abridge
zola build
# zola serve

abridge theme directly:

cd ~/.dev/abridge
sed -i 's/^search_library =.*/search_library = false/' config.toml
zola build
npm run abridge-demo
zola build
# zola serve


You can customize your configurations, templates and content for yourself. Look at the config.toml, content files, and templates files in this repo for an idea.

Number of Items per page for pagination

To change the number of items per page edit: abridge/content/_index.md and change the value for paginate_by

Page width

You can set the overal page width by editing themes\abridge\sass\_variables.scss file, and adjusting these two lines:

$mw:50% !default;// max-width
$mb:1200px !default;// value at which to switch from fluid layout to using max-width

Colors and Styles

Colors and style are handled by the sass files of abridge.css

Abridge comes with "Skins" each with their own auto, dark, light and switcher modes. Auto mode automatically displays a dark or light version depending on browser/OS settings. Switcher mode automatically displays a dark or light version depending on browser/OS settings, and has a user clickable theme switcher, but it requires additional javascript.

The skin used on the Demo uses primarily orange colors. It is defined here: /themes/abridge/sass/abridge-switcher.scss

There is also other variations, that you will see defined in this same directory, they are also all defined in config.toml

To change colors or fonts all you need to do is edit these files or duplicate them and create your own skin. Then in the root of your site type zola build which will regenerate your site, this is similar to what zola serve does, except it does not facilitate serving the site.

Javascript Files, js_bundle and options

These are the javascript files currently used by Abridge:

js_bundle is set to a javascript file with a bundle of multiple javascript files, this allows us to serve fewer javascript files (only the search index and the bundle, or if using the facade all the js related features minus the search related files). Included are a few of the likely most commonly used combinations, but you can generate any combination of js features into a bundle yourself using uglifyjs if you need to, there are examples in the config.toml (or in package.json), eg:

uglifyjs prestyle.js theme_button.js elasticlunr.min.js search.js -c -m -o abridge-nofacade.min.js

Abridge Default Bundle:

Abridge Alternate Bundles:

Support Files:

Global Configuration

There are some configuration options that you can customize in config.toml.

Configuration options before extra options

Set the authors's taxonomies for the site.

taxonomies = [
  {name = "authors"},

Use search function for the content.

build_search_index = true

โ€‹The search is the only essential thing that requires javascript in this this theme.

If you set build_search_index to false then the javascript file will no longer be loaded.

The default elasticlunr search is currently used, I may eventually switch this out for something else.

Configuration options under the extra

Most Options in the config.toml are self documenting, meaning between the name of the config value and the notes in the file it is usually obvious what an option is for.

The following options should be under the [extra] in config.toml

Additionally you should configure which social icons you plan to use. (makes the css file size smaller)

open themes/abridge/sass/_variables.scss

To simply turn them all off you can set $enable-icons: false Otherwise to turn on only the ones you need you would set $enable-icons: true Then enable only the icons you need, eg for mail you would set $icon-mail: true You should then disable all the icons that you do not use, as this will decrease the final size of your css file. The difference in size is NOT a lot, without icons its ~4kb, with all the social icons its ~12kb. There are also some general purpose icons you can use, they are disabled by default.

The theme requires tags and categories taxonomies to be enabled in your config.toml:

taxonomies = [
    # You can enable/disable RSS
    {name = "categories", rss = true},
    {name = "tags", rss = true},

Set a field in extra with a key of menu and menu_footer. If a link should have a trailing slash at the end of the url set slash = true.

# This is the default menu
menu = [
    {url = "/", name = "Home", slash = true},
    {url = "/about/", name = "About", slash = true},
    {url = "/posts/", name = "Posts", slash = true},
    {url = "/categories/", name = "Categories", slash = true},
    {url = "/tags/", name = "Tags", slash = true},
menu_footer = [
    {url = "/", name = "Home", slash = true},
    {url = "/about/", name = "About", slash = true},
    {url = "/contact/", name = "Contact", slash = true},
    {url = "/privacy/", name = "Privacy", slash = true},
    {url = "/sitemap.xml", name = "Sitemap", slash = false},

SEO and Header Tags

Most SEO Tags have been added as well as some important head tags for browser compatibility.

You can review the SEO tags in the head macro located at templates/macros/head.html, all configurable values should be in config.toml under config.extra or in the content markdown files.

In your post markdown file you should set a title less than 60 characters and a description between 80 and 160 characters in length. The description is what is displayed in search results below the page title. Anywhere that you do not set a page description, the primary site config.description will be used instead.

You should also set page specific keywords unless your keywords defined in config.toml suffice, any keywords that you add to the page are in addition to the ones defined in config.toml, so do not add those same keywords to your page keywords.

You can optionally also set a page specific image for search results by using page.extra.thumbnail. OpenGraph recommends 1200 x 630 (1.9:1). Twitter recommends 2:1 for large and 1:1 for small. If you do not set a page specific thumbnail then the banner defined in config.toml will be used instead.

Refer to overview-images for an example:

title = "Image Shortcodes"
description = "Images can be embedded directly using markdown `![Ferris](ferris.svg)`, but using a shortcode prevents CLS by explicitly setting the width and height."
date = 2021-05-19

categories = ["Features"]
tags = ["shortcodes","images"]
toc = true
keywords = "Image, Markdown, Shortcodes, Hover"
thumbnail = "ferris-gesture.png"

There are tools you can use to test your page SEO metadata, such as: smallseotools.com

KaTeX Math Notation

KaTeX can be used to display complex mathematics, it is a "Fast math typesetting for the web."

You can see a demo on this page.

I recommend only enabling math on a per page bases in your post.md files, instead of in your main config.toml file.


All pages extend to base.html, and you can customize them as need.

Optional Performance Optimizations:

Abridge.woff2 Icon Font

By default Abridge uses SVG icons directly in CSS, abridge/sass/include/_icons.scss, this very efficient and results in the least requests, additionally noscript does not block these resources.

The Abridge.woff2 Icon Font is a subset of Font Awesome, it is still included but not used by default because noscript addon blocks loading of font resources.

If you still want to use font icons continue reading:

Abridge.woff2 Icon Font is a subset of Font Awesome, and can be loaded like any other font by uncommenting the font in the abridge/sass/font.scss and including the font.css file in your stylesheet array defined in config.toml: stylesheets = [ "abridge-switcher.css", "font.css", "iconfont.css" ]

Abridge.woff2 file can be overridden just like any other Zola theme file, by placing your own Abridge.woff2 in your sites root eg: mysite/static/font/Abridge.woff2

To create your own Icon Font with other/more icons you can use the repository here: https://github.com/Jieiku/fontsubset

You will also need to add the additional icon entries to abridge/sass/fonts/_Abridge.scss

If you are running Abridge as a submodule, what you can do instead is copy _Abridge.scss as your own mysite/sass/myfont.scss, and then adjust your config.toml:

instead of this: stylesheets = [ "abridge-switcher.css" ] do this: stylesheets = [ "abridge-switcher.css", "myfont.css" ]


The theme switcher relies on javascript to work, it applies the .light class to the root documentElement. The file that handles this (theme.js) is tiny and optimized and it is the first file loaded in the head, so the performance hit is minimal, but it does still exist. Without the Theme switcher you can still use The automatic Theme, it works by using Browser/OS preference, you can even install a Firefox plugin to quickly switch between the two. By default the demo has the theme switcher enabled so that it can be evaluated.

With the growing number of options and configuration it can get confusing. To disable the Theme Switcher, you would comment out the Switcher section and enable your choice in the No switcher section, for example:

########## Switcher ########## (comment this block out if NOT using switcher):
#js_theme = "theme.min.js" # Separate Always, comment out if using -auto/-light/-dark stylesheet. (required for switcher)
#js_themeButton = "theme_button.js"# Bundleable
#js_bundle = "abridge-switcher.min.js"# Bundle JS File, comment out to disable (includes switcher)
#stylesheets = [ "abridge-switcher.css" ] # Orange Automatic Dark/Light Theme based on browser/system preference with switcher
#stylesheets = [ "abridge-blue-switcher.css" ] # Blue Automatic Night/Light Theme based on browser/system preference with switcher
#stylesheets = [ "abridge-blueshade-switcher.css" ] # BlueShade Automatic Night/Light Theme based on browser/system preference with switcher

########## No Switcher ##########
#js_bundle = "search.min.js"# Bundle JS File, comment out to disable (search only: no switcher/prestyle)
js_bundle = "abridge.min.js"# Bundle JS File, comment out to disable (no switcher)
stylesheets = [ "abridge.css" ] # Orange Automatic Dark/Light Theme based on browser/system preference

Optimize PNG files:

All png files can be optimized using oxipng, this usually results in files 1/2 the size:

cd static
oxipng -o max --strip all -a -Z *.png

You can go even farther if you use leanify:

git clone https://github.com/JayXon/Leanify
cd Leanify
sudo cp leanify /usr/local/bin/leanify
exit  #launch new terminal
leanify -i 7777 *.png
leanify -i 7777 *.ico

Results of using leanify on files previously processed with oxipng (smaller favicons compressed a lot more):

Processing: android-chrome-192x192m.png
2.23 KB -> 2.22 KB      Leanified: 11 B (0.48%)
Processing: android-chrome-192x192.png
2.51 KB -> 2.48 KB      Leanified: 33 B (1.28%)
Processing: android-chrome-512x512.png
5.49 KB -> 5.25 KB      Leanified: 241 B **(4.29%)**
Processing: apple-touch-icon.png
2.57 KB -> 2.54 KB      Leanified: 30 B (1.14%)
Processing: banner.png
13.07 KB -> 12.93 KB    Leanified: 138 B (1.03%)
Processing: mstile-150x150.png
2.24 KB -> 2.20 KB      Leanified: 38 B (1.66%)
Processing: favicon-16x16.png
559 B -> 366 B  Leanified: 193 B **(34.53%)**
Processing: favicon-32x32.png
969 B -> 663 B  Leanified: 306 B **(31.58%)**
Processing: favicon.ico
2.59 KB -> 1.90 KB      Leanified: 703 B **(26.53%)**

Google lighthouse will often notice when your pictures could be more compressed, this may even help SEO.

Pre gzip/brotli content to serve with nginx:

If you are serving your site with nginx, you can pre gzip your content.

First configure nginx:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

gzip on;
gzip_vary on;
gzip_proxied expired no-cache no-store private auth;
#gzip_proxied any;
gzip_comp_level 9;
gzip_buffers 64 16k;
#gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_http_version 1.1;
gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript image/svg+xml application/xhtml+xml application/x-javascript application/x-font-ttf application/vnd.ms-fontobject font/opentype font/ttf font/eot font/otf;
#gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

Then you can gzip/brotli your files:

zola build
find ~/.dev/abridge/public -type f -regextype posix-extended -regex '.*\.(htm|html|css|js|xml|xsl|txt|woff|woff2|svg|otf|eot|ttf)' -exec gzip --best -k -f {} \+ -exec brotli --best -f {} \;
rsync -zvrh ~/.dev/abridge/public/ web:/var/www/abridge

Nginx does not come by default with brotli support, but adding it was not difficult.

Reporting Issues

We use GitHub Issues as the official bug tracker for abridge. Please search existing issues. Itโ€™s possible someone has already reported the same problem. If your problem or idea is not addressed yet, open a new issue.

Contributing and Philosophy

We'd love your help! Especially with fixes to issues.

The overall idea behind abridge is to be lightweight and fast, and to work properly even if javascript is disabled.

The only feature that some people may consider a necessity that relies on javascript is the Search.

Any feature added to abridge that relies on javascript will do so with it disabled by default.


abridge is distributed under the terms of the MIT license.